Question about Barebone Systems
There are all kinds of printers and printing problems. It’s important to note at the outset that for safety reasons you should unplug your printer if you plan on working inside the device for any reason. In addition to the electrical hazard, printers (especially laser printers) can also be very hot on the inside, so use caution.
There are a few general troubleshooting steps you should take first, regardless of your printing problem. These will help solve most everyday printing issues.
Reboot. You’ll be amazed at how many printing problems simply disappear after you restart your computer. Also, reboot your printer. Sometimes, for no good reason, a printer will become wedged (it just stops communicating with the computer). Turning your printer off for a few seconds, and then back on, will usually get you going again.
Read the printer’s lights. Doing this can provide you with very useful clues. Is the power light on? Is the paper feed light blinking? Don’t be afraid to press buttons on the printer: Turn it off and on, reset the paper feed, and take the printer offline and bring it online again.
Check your physical connections. Is the power cord loose? Does the cable from the printer to the PC have a secure connection at both ends? Look at the connector pins on your cable. Are they bent? Try another cable if you have one. Check the print cartridges and printing mechanism. Is anything blocking the printer? Are the cartridges firmly in place?
Print a Windows test page. Access your printer’s Properties dialog box (follow the directions given above). Select the General tab and click the Print Test Page button. If nothing else, you can find out a good deal about your printer’s problem. If the test page prints, you have a problem with your application, not with Windows. Answer the questions as prompted and work through Windows’ Print Troubleshooter as needed.
Drivers. Verify drivers on the Details tab in the Printer Properties dialog box. Make sure the installed driver corresponds with your actual printer. Check the manufacturer’s Web site for updated drivers and browse the support pages on the site while you’re there.
Posted on Mar 06, 2008
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